KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Project Grad Knoxville students are spending part of their summer completing an important requirement of the program to make sure they qualify for scholarships after high school.

One group of students enjoyed hands-on team building at Ijams Nature Center as they prepare for trade school in the future. They are a part of Tennessee College of Applied Technology’s Summer Institute. All week, they’ve been getting first-hand experience in different trades available to them after high school.

“We have students that are going into CNC track, which is industrial tool technology for factory workers, and then we have students going into cosmetology. They’re going to get their braiding certificate,” Project Grad Career Counselor at Fulton High School Tony Gunn said. “Then we have students going into the CNA program where they’ll learn CPR and different things in the medical field.”

“Our trip to Navitat today was to continue the experiential hands-on learning that we are doing this week and next week with our Summer Institute for Project Grad,” said Nellie Blanton, an admissions counselor and recruiter at TCAT.

The students are learning new ways to challenge themselves and how to work with each other.

We asked a group of students interested in the field of cosmetology what this team building means to them.

“You’ve always got to help each other, you’ve got to be there for each other, helping is very important, as long as you have each other’s backs, everything will be okay,” said one student.

For more information on Project Grad Knoxville visit: and